Alternate History Sports

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2/08/2021 7:24 pm  #11

Re: NFL Identity Carousel

MyTeamIsDr.Pepper wrote:

Whats the idea behind some of these? I'm trying to put some reason behind some of the more arbitrary seeming ones, like the Las Vegas Bears. Is the idea there that the original Oakland Bears were named after the bear on the California flag, because if so that's not a bad idea. Are the Arizona Chiefs named after native tribes like the Navajo and Hopi? I'm not sure that idea fits for a franchise that originated in Chicago and then St. Louis. A few others like Denver Bills, New York Bengals, Green Bay Vikings, LA Steelers and others toward the bottom of the list are also head scratchers and seem just random. 

Let me explain. 

The Las Vegas Bears were originally the Oakland Bears and yes they were named that because of the Bear on the California State Flag. Arizona Chiefs is named for AZ's native American history, and dated back to the early 1900s in Chicago back when you could name the team whatever you wanted to. Denver Bills is because there is a US Mint in Denver which makes Dollar Bills. New York Bengals was kinda the last one I thought of, but it could also be a nod to the zoos in NYC (To be specific, the Bronx Zoo). From what i've heard, Wisconsin also has a large Scandinavian population like Minnesota, so that takes care of Green Bay Vikings. Finally, the LA Steelers. They started out in Cleveland which like Pittsburgh, has ties to the Steel industry. (or maybe it's because my great-grandparents worked at a Steel mill there) They then moved to LA, later St Louis and then back to LA.

2/09/2021 12:22 am  #12

Re: NFL Identity Carousel

I think this works! We could try to keep rearranging the carousel to perfect some things -- I'm not sold on the Tennessee Ravens, Seattle Vikings, Buffalo Panthers, and San Francisco Rams -- but then we'd be stuck trying to fit all the puzzle pieces until the end of time. We can justify those names with the magic wand of "hey, it was voted for by the fans!"

For Arizona, I could see the Browns featuring a Roadrunner bird as the mascot to avoid any other imagery (or really any desert animal). I'm not a great fan of the Las Vegas Chiefs for reasons that don't need to be said. Otherwise, I'll miss the brief Washington Eagles, New York Lions, Philadelphia Patriots, and Seattle Ravens, but sacrifices must be made.

Now that all being said, if you do have a lot of free time and want to deconstruct and reconstruct the carousel again, some thoughts:

New York Falcons or New England Falcons - Perhaps one of the New York teams relocated, opening the door for this team to begin play in 1966. I think in the right city, the Falcons nickname could come across as somewhat stately, given the right backstory. Peregine falcons are found in the Northeast.
San Francisco Steelers / Seahawks - It seems like early on, Detroit was locked in for the Steelers moniker, but San Francisco could wear it too as a nod to the Golden Gate Bridge. How the team got to San Francisco would be its own challenge though, as Detroit began play before many pro sports expanded out west. Seahawks would be the opposite of that, as later expansion team, you may want football to reach San Francisco earlier on.
Detroit Bengals - To complement the MLB Tigers, though this does run into the issue of a city with a long football tradition mashed with a more recent expansion nickname.
Detroit Eagles / Football Team / Giants - All could work given their respective long histories, with the Eagles just being a classic football identity, the Football Team rising from the past WFT name, and the Giants recognizing the "giant" auto industry.
Baltimore Browns = Baltimore Blues - in mcrosby's inspiring NBA carousel, they made what I'm deeming an acceptable "equivalent" nickname change from Timberwolves to Huskies. Here, Browns changes to Blues, and a potential mascot could be the regionally popular blue crabs (rather than a bulldog). I suppose it could also become the Baltimore Bulldogs, using the existing Cleveland dog logos.
Minnesota Bears / Giants - I could see Minnesota emerging as a football city earlier and taking the Bears or Giants name.
Los Angeles Seahawks - Founded as such, then became the San Diego Seahawks, then later being relocated to Los Angeles (ie the Chargers backstory).
Los Angeles Titans -  The Titans would've been relocated to Los Angeles, but could recognize the "titans" of the movie industry and the whole "olympic angle" that the AltBA has been doing. 
Los Angeles Football Team - Started in the midwest, moved to Los Angeles, moved to another central US city, and then back to Los Angeles only to be soon renamed the Football Team?
Indianapolis Football Team - Ah, lovely how helpful the "Football Team" moniker is for carousel purposes. Like @sportsfan7 said, pretty much every US city has Native American history. Indianapolis could've started with a team earlier than before.
Miami Raiders / Jaguars - Both work and have regional significance. Jacksonville could've been expanded to earlier than Miami.
Atlanta Football Team - It would mean professional football started in the South much earlier than in NFL history, but it could work.
*I think I got my explanations crossed up at some point, but oh well*

Last edited by Megildur (2/09/2021 12:27 am)


2/09/2021 2:10 am  #13

Re: NFL Identity Carousel

See I like a lot of those ideas, but I want to keep the current timeline intact as much as possible. All relocations and expansions are going to be relatively the same. For example, the Indy franchise will always begin in Baltimore, the Las Vegas franchise will always begin in Oakland, and will always spend time in LA, the Cleveland franchise will always move to LA (or well I have them moving to SF but I make up for this by letting the LA franchise swap places with the irl 49ers who were founded in the same year, 1946.) and so on and so forth.

I think keeping naming conventions relatively the same would be for the best too. The Cleveland franchise that moves to Baltimore in the 90s will keep the name and history just like it did in our world and the Baltimore team will be treated as an expansion. There’s some former Houston franchise that relocated to Tennessee and changed its name. There’s one break to this rule that I can think of and that’s the Dallas franchise who relocated to Kansas City. In real life the AFL’s Dallas Texans relocated to KC to become the Chiefs, but in our world the Dallas Texans are called the Dallas Cowboys and they don’t change names upon relocation.

This also includes, atleast I’m trying to include it, keeping the date names appeared equal across swaps. So the Steelers appeared in the 30’s and so did the Lions, the 49ers appeared in the 40’s and the Rams in the 30’s, the Jets name appeared in the 60’s and so did the Chargers. I obviously break this rule a bunch however. But usually when I do I try and age the name up to the year the team was founded, not the other way around. (The year the name was introduced is older then when the city it’s being given to was founded in our universe.) So I did the Indianapolis Cardinals, the Seattle Vikings, Tampa Bay Chargers and a few others. The only one where the name is actually far younger then the team theoretically is, is the Pittsburgh Raiders, and Buffalo Panthers. But both of those nicknames are fairly generic nicknames which I think fit fine into the era in which the teams were founded.

I’m not the best explainer, so I definitely left you more confused then before. And I know this hypothetical rules are probably making this much harder then it needs to be, and rules out a lot of your ideas you just had, but I think, at least in my head, it makes it the least confusing in the end.

That said you have some really good ideas. Despite the fact the Browns would be the oldest NFL team in the league now and I don't think their brand would change all that much, just take a look at the Cardinals, I do think when the team rebrands in the early 2000's similar to the Cards, they'd probably end up with an updated Brownie logo, but it's also a cool idea to have Roadrunner as a secondary or something. I also really like trying and fitting some of the more generic names in a bunch of the older cities. I think it would fit in any pre-merger city honestly. I think the Falcons or even Panthers could have a similar effect as needed, as you also suggested.

I'll come up with another couple versions of the carousel and maybe we can start brainstorming some identity's.

     Thread Starter

2/10/2021 2:22 am  #14

Re: NFL Identity Carousel

So I gave the carousel another spin and here's what I've got:

(I tried to keep the oldest cities and names linked to start off, going with your idea about keeping cities/names within the same range of years) 
Philadelphia - Washington Eagles
Washington - Green Bay Football Team
Green Bay - Chicago Packers
Chicago - Pittsburgh Bears (backstory goes something along the lines of steelworkers having bear-like strength)
Pittsburgh - Detroit Steelers
Detroit - New York Lions (back to the NY Public Library statues)

(past most of the original cities, so now it gets jumbled) (decade franchise was founded, roughly)
New York (G) (1920s) - Minnesota Giants (Paul Bunyan)
Minnesota (1960s) - Seattle Vikings
Seattle (1970s) - Tampa Bay Seahawks
Tampa Bay (1970s) - New Orleans Buccaneers
New Orleans (1960s) - New England Saints
New England (1960s) - New York Patriots
New York (J) (1960s) - Los Angeles Jets
Los Angeles (C) (1960s) - Buffalo Chargers (ala the OKC Thunder, could be a bison with the "charger bolt" across the side)
Buffalo (1960s) - Houston Bills (one of the weaker ideas, but hey Buffalo Bill was a Wild West figure so maybe it actually fits better than in New York state...)
Houston (2000s, but Oilers were 1960) - Dallas Texans
Dallas (1960s) - Kansas City Cowboys
Kansas City (1960s) - Cleveland Chiefs (put all the questionable pro sports names in one city! ~sarcasm~)
Cleveland (1940s / 1990s) - Arizona Browns
Arizona (pre-1940s) - Indianapolis Cardinals
Indianapolis (pre-1960) - Cincinnati Colts (it just fits)
Cincinnati (1960s) - Atlanta Bengals
Atlanta (1960s) - Baltimore Falcons (generic name swapped for generic name, but loses the Poe reference)
Baltimore (1990s, but Colts pre-1960) - Tennessee Ravens
Tennessee (1960) - Los Angeles Titans (because even in the carousel universe, LA has drama getting an NFL team)
Los Angeles (R) (pre-1960) - San Francisco Rams
San Francisco (pre-1960) - Denver 49ers
Denver (1960s) - Las Vegas Broncos (honestly, this fits better than it would in Los Angeles, much less Denver)
Las Vegas (1960s) - Miami Raiders (Miami, Las Vegas, similar vibes?)
Miami (1960s) - Jacksonville Dolphins
Jacksonville (1990s) - Carolina Jaguars
Carolina (1990s) - Philadelphia Panthers (if an original team is the Lions, then I think we could argue Panthers fits as traditional name in the right location)

Last edited by Megildur (2/10/2021 2:47 am)


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